An Academic Paper Regarding The Additional Coachella Weekend

My coworker asked me for my thoughts on the additional Coachella weekend, so I wrote an academic paper because I’m an asshole.

Coachella has established itself as one of the premiere music festivals in the United States.  According to their recent announcement, Coachella is adding a second weekend in order to accommodate fans who could not purchase tickets before they sold out, as well as creating a secure ticket website for fans who purchased faulty or overpriced tickets.  Despite the claims of fan support, the music industry’s economics indicate that they are following the movie industry’s habit of oversaturation.

As Metallica can attest, Napster irreversibly changed the music industry in 1999, leading to a culture of accepted and expected piracy. With chart-toppers like The Decemberists and Cake, it is evident that indie music has prospered, but the industry as a whole has suffered.    Although they were slow to curb the tide, corporations like Live Nation capitalized on what could not be stolen: concerts.  Thus, artists are now focusing their efforts on shows and merchandise for the bulk of their salary, placing the highest power in the hands of festivals, something Coachella is finally capitalizing upon.

In a recent BS Report with Bill Simmons and guest Chuck Klosterman, Simmons asked Klosterman if the internet was healthy for the music industry.  Klosterman agreed it was, but said the only detraction is depreciation of the live show due to increased availability.  This is a problem that the movie industry is experiencing with 3D.  Avatar ushered in the era of post-conversion, while Alice in Wonderland proved that post-converted movies could be successful.  Now, previous sure things like Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Kung Fu Panda 2 are experiencing curtailed returns due to the average viewers’ disdain for a superfluous third dimension.

The LCD Soundsystem farewell show is an apt comparison to Coachella despite a smaller sample size.  LCD planned to have its farewell show at Madison Square Garden, only to see third party websites siphon the tickets before any honest fans could purchase them, thus prompting LCD to add a string of new shows.  Now, LCD still played the MSG farewell show, but the product was devalued by multiple and previously unplanned shows in the same city.  Now, fans will specify whether they attended the farewell show at Terminal 5 (Parts 1-4), or the originally planned MSG show.

With the upcoming Coachella format, fans will face the prospect of explaining that they attended “the other weekend” of a possible transcendental show.  In this current tumultuous age of media, it is another inevitable pill that fans will be forced to swallow.


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